Jarvis Jones appeared to be the consensus at #17 overall among many people heading into today, and I believe that Pittsburgh’s front office made a worthwhile gamble this evening.
While many are off-put by Jones’ poor Pro Day workout and his spinal stenosis condition, the simple fact of the matter is that the Steelers’ cupboard is essentially “bare” at outside linebacker.
Don’t believe me? Well it’s an utter disaster zone:
- LaMarr Woodley will be 29 this winter, is injury-prone, and looks more suited to play the “Stay Puft Marshmallow Man” from “Ghostbuster” than the role of an effective outside linebacker. Of course, two years ago I was one of a few whom wanted to see the Steelers let Woodley leave as a UFA, and did not believe that an overrated player like him deserved an enormous contract. Sadly, it looks like I was spot-on with my prediction.
- Jason Worilds has flashed his talent at times, but he has had issues staying healthy as well. While Worilds will get his shot to win the starting gig opposite Woodley this year, he will reach UFA status next spring and might not be retained.
- 2011 5th Round pick Chris Carter and 2012 UDFA Adrian Robinson have yet to make impacts outside of special teams, and some talented depth is needed to push those two young players.
While the Steelers need pass-rushing help, I just hope that the soon to be 24 year old Jones can see the field and contribute early on in his career. Like most rookies and 2nd year players though on Pittsburgh’s defense, Jarvis will likely have to rot on the bench behind veterans due to Dick LeBeau’s “complex” scheme.
I at least hope that Jones (6’2″ 242 lbs.) is able to see the field in pass-rushing situations, because he was a downright stud when it came to making plays in the backfield with the Bulldogs. Over the last two years, Jones recorded 155 tackles, 28.0 sacks, and 45.5 tackles for loss. Furthermore, Jarvis was responsible for 10 turnovers last season (7 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception), and has a knack for taking the ball away from the opposing team.
Although the potential injury risks and poor 40 time are concerns with Jones, his value at #17 overall is downright awesome, and I tip my cap to “Colbert & Co.” for actively trying to uprgade their team’s pass-rush.
Final Grade: B
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